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Losing late hurts so much more than getting blown out.
That's true at the moment that an extra-inning blooper plunks into shallow right to score the winning run and it can be even more painful when you sit down and look back at the loss after a short period of time.
Losing two games to the Red Sox after coming back to tie in the eighth inning doesn't do much to shake the Yankees' chances of finishing the season on top of the American League East, but the pain may come all the same.
If the Red Sox manage to find their footing over the final two months of the season and sneak into the playoffs by a game or two, these two losses will feel quite a bit larger. Whatever has happened over the course of the last season (plus last September), the Yankees don't want to find the Red Sox staring at them in October.
They really don't want to find them there because Curtis Granderson misjudged a fly ball on Saturday night and because David Robertson walked a hitter with a .285 on-base percentage on Sunday night. Two smallish mistakes that could wind up looking like massive blunders because the Red Sox would have been buried if the Yankees found a way to win those two games.
The Sox are four games out of the Wild Card, so the prospect of them figuring out a way to the playoffs is far from an impossible dream. That would make two ugly losses even uglier.
Here's the rest of the good, bad and ugly from New York's baseball weekend:
GOOD: R.A. Dickey had a 6.49 ERA in his last five game, a tailspin that coincided with the wheels coming off the Mets' bus and a run that threatened to make his first half as wispy a memory as the Mets' winning record if it continued much longer. Dickey was dynamite in the desert on Sunday, though, and a return to earlier form would make playing out the string a lot more enjoyable.
BAD: Robinson Cano's contract is looking like it will be an issue of some acrimony in the months and years to come. His agent is making noise about a 10-year deal, which is A-Rod territory, and the Yankees' newfound eye on fiscal matters mixed with Cano's realization that he's the only Yankee in his prime could make things get contentious.
UGLY: Granderson's grand slam on Friday night looked like the start of a giddy weekend for the Yankees, but his miscue on a ball off Pedro Ciriaco's bat Saturday night ended those thoughts in a hurry. It was ruled a triple, but it was actually a massive error at the worst possible time.
UGLY: Jason Bay is hitless in his last 22 at-bats and Kirk Nieuwenhuis has joined Lucas Duda in Triple-A. This is not the way you win in the big leagues.
GOOD: Mark Teixeira is not a player who makes much of an impression for anything outside of not making much of an impression. He really hates Vicente Padilla, though, and tying the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth off Padilla on Saturday brought some welcome and amusing emotion out of Teixeira.
GOOD, BUT IN A WISTFUL WAY: Hitting three home runs in Saturday's loss is about the best shorthand we can think of to describe Ike Davis' season. His power has remained impressive in this otherwise dismal season, but you're left with big questions about what it is all worth.
BAD OR WORSE: If the Red Sox season goes on to crash and burn, Ciriaco will go down as a footnote in Yankee-Red Sox history. If they make the playoffs and wind up making life miserable for the Yankees, Ciriaco's pesky habit of getting the big hit at the big moment will make him Dave Roberts-lite for a new generation.
BAD: Bobby Valentine got kicked out of the game on Sunday night and didn't return to the bench in any kind of disguise. What's the point of that, Bobby V?
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